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14Coca-Cola Company

Case Study: Coca-Cola Company

Table of Contents

5Executive Summary


61.0 Introduction

71.1 Mission, Vision, and Purpose

81.2 Operating Segments and Products

91.3 Strategies Employed and Market


112.0 Internal Environment

122.1 Corporate Governance and Ethics

142.2 Strategy

152.3 Structure

152.4 An Effective Stakeholder Engagement Approach

162.5 Production and Distribution Effectiveness

172.6 Coca-Cola’s Risk Profile

172.7 Workforce


183.0 External Environment

193.1 Political factors

203.2 Economic factors

213.3 Socio-Cultural Factors

223.4 Technological factors

223.5 Environmental Factors

233.6 Legal factors

243.7 SWOT Analysis for Coca-Cola

253.7 a Strengths

253.7 b Weaknesses

263.7 c Opportunities

263.7 d Threats


274.1 Impact of the External Economic Environment

284.2 Economic Crisis

294.3 Taxes

304.5 Fluctuations in Energy and Fuel Prices in the Economy

314.6 Competition

314.7 Fluctuations in Foreign Currency Exchange Rates


335.1 Impact of the Company on the External Economic Environment

345.2 Technological Changes

355.3 Source of Revenue

355.4 Source of Employment

365.5 Alleviation of Poverty

375.6 Health Hazards to its Consumers

386.0 Conclusion


Executive Summary

The Coca-Cola Company is an international beverage corporation, which has gained major success over the years. This case study will reflect on environmental factors and how their relation with the daily operations of Coca-Cola company. We will look at how the external environment affects the company, how the company affects the external environment and the potential impact of external environmental changes to the corporation. To achieve this purpose, various methods used include an integrated Porter’s Five Forces analysis and the SWAT analysis. In addition, this paper will suggest solutions that the Coca-Cola Company can apply to solve some of their challenges.

In working through this paper, I have enhanced my skills in systematic analysis of corporate procedures and in the process improved my problem solving capability. One thing that you cannot fail to appreciate is Coca Cola’s marketing strategies. In writing this paper, I have improved my experience on marketing strategies and thus broadened admiration. A greater concept worth admiration is how the company carries out distribution. With the company being an international corporation, analyzing the company’s distribution plan opens one’s mind to unimaginable levels concerning handling of international business.

Additionally, this paper gives an invaluable lesson on how workers relations affect a company’s success. You will learn that Coca-Cola owes its huge success to the optimum relation it has with its employees. This paper also opens up one’s mind to external environmental factors and how they impact a company. This knowledge is compulsory for anyone interested in venturing into business. The paper also gives an analysis of how Coca-Cola affects the external environment and benefits of positive impact. Coca-Cola has gained massive popularity in various countries through factors such as creation of job opportunities, and promotion of talent.


1.0 Introduction

The Coca-Cola Company (NYSE: KO) is mainly a public beverage corporation. Its primary business model entails the fabrication, retailing, and marketing non-alcoholic syrups and beverages. It has its headquarters in Atlanta, Georgia. The enterprise is mainly known for its primary product Coca-Cola, which was incorporated by the founder, Asa Griggs, in 1992. It can be considered the world’s largest beverage company and markets over 500 nonalcoholic beverage brands, which are primarily sparkling (Coca-Cola’s Annual Report, 2015). However, the company also owns a variety of still beverages, such as water, ready-to-drink coffee and tea, juices, as well as sport and energy drinks. In addition, the company owns the world’s top four sparkling beverages. These are Fanta, Sprite, Coca-Cola, and Diet Coke. Also, as the company is a multinational, its finished products sold in the US since the year 1886, are now sold in over 200 countries (Coca-Cola’s Annual Report, 2015). The enterprise fabricates its beverage products, which it has effectively branded, and ships to consumers located in the whole world via a network of corporate owned or controlled bottling and distribution operations. In addition, it also has independent bottling distributors, partners, retailers, and wholesalers, making this network to be the largest beverage distribution system.

The organization believes that its success in business owes to its ability to connect to consumers, and thereby offering them with various options that can meet their desires, lifestyles, and needs, as well as the ability of its people to execute the business effectively on a daily basis. The company was incorporated in 1919, under the State of Delaware’s laws. The company maintains high revenues, for instance, according to Jurevicius (2016), the company had abundant revenues driven the company’s profitability. In addition, it also invests in marketing its products, mainly via making advertisements, which provides the company with competitive advantage Jurevicius (2016). The annual revenues are very high, as cited by Market Watch (n.d), which reports that they are always above USD 40 billion in the last couple of years.

1.1 Mission, Vision, and Purpose

The company acknowledges the changing environment in global business, and therefore, for it to thrive, the company looks ahead, inclines to market trends, and forces (Coca-Cola Company, n.d.). For this reason, one of the strategies employed by the company includes getting ready for tomorrow today, which provides the company with a framework to win along with its bottling partners. As the company cites, its mission is to refresh the world, inspiring moments of happiness and optimism, as well as creating value that can make a difference (Coca-Cola Company, n.d.). The framework for the company’s success commences with this mission, which declares the sole purpose of the organization and also serves as the standard upon which the organization weighs its decisions and actions. Its vision is inclined to achieve sustainable development and quality growth. To align to the vision, which provides the blueprint for guiding its business aspects, it seeks to undertake various actions. Firstly, it ensures that the company is a good place to work, where people are motivated via inspirations, and by being supported to become the best. Secondly, it has developed a product portfolio of quality brands that satisfy people’s lifestyle, needs, and desires. Thirdly, it has a network of partners, including customers and suppliers, who together, have created a mutual and enduring value. Fourthly, it seeks to be responsible for helping support and building sustainable communities. Fifthly, it aims to achieve high profitability and maximizing long-term returns to shareholders while also minding the responsibilities of the company. Lastly, it seeks to be productive be being highly effective, fast-moving, and lean company (Coca-Cola Company, n.d.).

It also has a variety of values, including a strong leadership that gives courage in shaping a brighter future for the company. Other values include collaboration, accountability, passion, integrity, quality, and diversity. It aims at focusing on the needs of the customers, consumers, as well as partners. It also capitalizes on emerging trends by performing frequent market analysis that are aimed at listening, observing, and learning more about the market. It also aims at working smart, acting like owners, as well as building a better brand inspired by optimism, fun, passion, and creativity (Coca-Cola Company, n.d.).

1.2 Operating Segments and Products

The operating structure is based on the company’s internal financial reporting. According to the Coca-Cola’s annual report for 2015, the operating structure included seven operating segments. These are Eurasia and Africa, Europe, Asia Pacific, Bottling Investments, Latin America, North America, and Corporate (Coca-Cola’s Annual Report 2015). The six segments, excluding corporate, division are often referred to as operating groups. In January 2016, the company transferred Coca-Cola Refreshments bottling, as well as the other associated supply chain operations in US and Canada from the North America Segment into the Bottling Investments division. The company fabricates, markets, and sells beverage concentrates and syrups, including fountain syrups, as well as finished sparkling and still beverages. Ideally, as the 2015 annual report points out, the finished product operations have higher revenues but lower gross profits compared to the concentrate operations (Coca-Cola’s Annual Report, 2015). The concentrate operation usually generate revenues by merchandizing syrups and concentrates to authorized canning and bottling operations, which in turn, combine these concentrates with viable sweeteners, sparkling or still water, or in most instances, combine sparkling water with syrups to produce the finished beverages.

These are then packaged in authorized containers, including cans, plastic bottles, as well as refillable or nonrefillable glass bottles, which have been fabricated to bear the Coca-Cola’s trademark. In turn, the finished products are sold to retailers or even wholesalers. The company may also sell fountain syrups to wholesalers to resell them. As such, the company has numerous products. These include Coca-Cola, Minute Maid, Dasani, FUZE TEA, GlaceauVitaminwater, Powerade, Georgia, Coca-Cola Zero, Fanta, Sprite, Diet Coke, Ice Dew, and Del Valle among other reputable brands. In addition, the company also distributes Monster Beverage Corporation’s brands, primarily Monster Energy. Coca-Cola also participates in the distribution of third-party brands, such as Dr. Pepper Snapple Group Inc.’s brands, which as the company asserts, produces and distributes to designated territories. Coca-Cola also has a strategic partnership with Aujan Industries Company, which is one of the largest beverage companies in Middle East. It has a joint venture with Nestlé’s Beverage Partners Worldwide, which is involved in marketing and distributing Nestea products in Canada and Europe.

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Supply the products globaly

Bottlers as Partners

1.3 Strategies Employed and Market

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Coca Cola

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Tp make it recognizable

A Timeless Logo

Constant Advertizing

Consumer Marketing

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Fig 1: Coca Cola’s Strategies and Market.

As figure 1 above shows, the company has invested strongly in bottling. The bottlers are the main driving force behind Coca-Cola as they ensure that the products are fabricated, marketed, and distributed to the consumers all over the world. The bottlers hold contracts with Coca-Cola to produce the finished products. They can then sell, redistribute, and sell the products to retailers, as well as food service distributors. These bottlers include Coca-Cola Amatil, which is based in Australia, Coca-Cola European Partners, based in the UK, Coca-Cola Bottlers Philippines, Coca-Cola FEMSA, based in Philippines, Arca Continental, Coca-Cola Beverages Africa, Krin Company in Japan, Swire Group in Hong Kong, Coca-Cola Korea, as well as Coca-Cola HBC AG, located in Switzerland. The major American bottlers include Coca-Cola Bottling Company United, Coca-Cola Bottling Co. Consolidated, and Swire Coca-Cola USA (Coca-Cola’s Annual Report, 2015).

Also as the figure shows, the company’s logo is timeless and has not changed compared to the major competitor, PepsiCo. Therefore, it enables the company to be differentiated from the competitors (Fig 1). Having been in existence for more than a century, the brand has been imprinted in people’s minds. Also, the Coke bottle has not changed, and this has also facilitated the promotion of the company’s image (Feloni, 2015).In addition, as the author asserts, it holds the retailers responsible for maintaining the high standard the company has amassed over the years, such as serving the drinks refrigerated to uphold its refreshing and sparkling sensation. For this reason, the company has commercial leadership owing to the numerous customers located all over the world and sells and serves the company’s products to the consumers. The company has developed a mutual relationship whereby Coca-Cola comprehends the customer’s needs

It had also adopted consumer marketing as one of its core capabilities (fig 1). In essence, the company has made marketing investments that are meant to enhance consumer awareness, thereby increasing consumer preferences for the brands. These include advertising, sales promotions, and point-of-sale merchandising. The company focusses on differentiating the products for developing markets. For instance, there are numerous TV advertisements about Coca-Cola products, which is supported by a large advertising budget. This is helpful for the company because it provides a substantial competitive advantage. Ideally, this is realized through the promotion of the brand, helping the process of introduction of new products, increasing sales, informing the consumers on matters pertaining to the product’s features, and also in the process of communicating the brand’s message to the entire public. The Company targets consumers with variant ethnic groups, age, sexes, and lifestyles. For instance, Qoo is a fruit juice sold in Hong Kong, Japan, and China, and is very popular in Europe and Asia. It is mainly targeted for those aged three to ten primarily because of its fun fruit taste, as well as the cartoon character on its front, which as the beverage, is named Qoo (Tripod, n.d.).


2.0 Internal Environment

Coca-Cola’s internal environment is the foundation for competitive advantage for the firm. In essence, the company encompasses a variety of strategies including adopting a well-defined distribution network and outbound factories that are capable of increasing the overall workflow. In addition, the company has perfected the art of marketing by adopting differentiated and cost-based strategies. Corporate governance is considerably effective for Coca-Cola. This section will discuss Coca-Cola’s internal environment strength. See figure 3 below.

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To Coca-Cola’s Market

Internal Factors Contributing

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Worldwide distribution


Strong branding

Safeguarding assets

Distribution Technics

Stakeholders’ participation

Good Structure


Strong governance

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Fig 3: Internal Factors Contributing to Coca-Cola’s Market Strength.

2.1 Corporate Governance and Ethics

One of the factors that strengthen the company is that the business receives guidance from the Board of Directors (Fig 3, strong governance). The Board is elected by the shareowners and works to oversee their interests particularly I the overall health of the firm and ensuring that the company is supported by a huge financial muscle to ensure that the business is a success. In essence, the board is the ultimate decision-making body for Coca-Cola. It oversees and selects members of the senior management. The board charges them with conducting corporate business. To fulfill the various responsibilities, Coca-Cola’s Board oversees proper safeguarding of the company’s assets, ensuring that the financial among other internal controls are well managed and maintained, as well as ensuring that the company is in compliance with applicable laws and regulations (Coca-Cola’s Annual Report, 2015). Since it does not view risks in isolation, they are considered in virtually every aspect of the business, including such actions like decision-making, especially in instances of strategy formulation. However, it also recognizes its limitations as it is impossible to eliminate all risk. Therefore, it ensures that there is appropriate and purposeful risk taking so as to ensure that the company is competitive on the global scene.

The company has also enhanced its compensatory structure. The compensation committee has adopted an Equity Stewardship Guidelines, which is a set of principles that specify how the company uses equity compensation (Coca-Cola’s Annual Report, 2015). It has also revised the annual incentive plan thereby improving transparency. In addition, the committee has come up with new metrics that are directly tied to the strategies for the long-term and annual incentive plans.

The directors are elected, and this is based on the skills and qualifications of each of them. This, in turn, ensures that the Board is made up competent members able to propel the company to success. For instance, the Committee of Directors, each Director, and Corporate Governance requirements hold that each director should be an individual of high integrity, which should be accompanied by a strong trail of previous success in his or her field (Coca-Cola’s Annual Report, 2015). As such, each director should be capable of demonstrating innovativeness, familiarity on how the company operates, as well as respecting corporate governance practices and requirements. Also, since the company values diversity, the directors should be able to appreciate multiple cultures, as well as showing commitment to upholding sustainability and dealing effectively with the various social issues that the company faces. Each member should have a high level of experience in the finance field. They should also have held senior leadership positions before. For this reason, they should have served as Chief Executive Officers from previous work positions. Also, they need to have global exposure, especially on emerging markets. Marketing experience is also vital, and the respect for diversity. In addition, the members should have rich information and knowledge of the company’s undertakings, as well as the industry it operates in. For instance, Muhtar Kent, the current Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and the Chairman of the Board since 2009 has held the position of CEO since 2008 and the position pf president since 2006. As such, this reveals that most of the Board Members are highly competent and have prior experience in leadership, particularly on senior management.

2.2 Strategy

For the company to compete on the Global scene favorably, Coca-Cola utilizes a differentiation strategy to create value for its consumers and customers, which is reflected in the mission statement. The main strategies that the company uses, as shown in figure 3, include branding global soft drinks that are primarily carbonated. These brands are set to capture the full potential of the company’s trademark, “Coca-Cola”, as well as accelerating growth of these core brands in every market mainly via immediate consumption, which plays a vital role in improving the margin profits, as well as consumer recruitment. In addition, besides growing the core brands, the company has adopted noncarbonated drinks such as coffee, sports drinks, water, as well as energy drinks which have also captured many consumers thereby increasing the revenues (Coca-Cola’s Annual Report, 2015). The development of transformational wellness platforms including tea, juice, and soy has also contributed to the company’s success. In addition, the company has adopted a market to market focus on system’s health by balancing product aspects including volume, mix, cost, investments and share, concentrate pricing, and cost effectiveness among other factors (Coca-Cola’s Annual Report, 2015). The company also strives to create consumer and customer value by meeting and exalting their expectations (fig 3). The company, being global, has also capitalized on emerging markets and thus, enabling it to generate further revenue. As such, the company has adopted a variety of products that suit these markets. The company also invests in research and development to effectively develop new products based on quality and augmenting the current portfolio.

2.3 Structure

The North American Business better reflects the company’s strategic focus (PepsiCo, n.d). In the segment, the company has established three business units, which entail still beverages, sparkling beverages, and emerging brands to counter competition from firms such as PepsiCo. In addition, it has sought to fabricate healthier products, such as the Diet Coke to curb the competition it currently faces in the North American segment (fig 3, competition).

2.4 An Effective Stakeholder Engagement Approach

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Work Force Motivation

Risk Analysis

Distribution Effectiveness

Proper Standards

Strengthened Relationships

The company values its shareholders. The company recognizes the need for maintaining dialogue with its global partners, which include customers, bottlers, investors, and employees (Coca-Cola’s Annual Report, 2015) (Fig 4) below. This helps the company to strengthen its relationship with them as well as giving them a chance in decision-making. By using this approach, the company can deliver its commitments.

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Stake Holder

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Fig 4: Benefits of involving stakeholders.

The company also engages with health and nutrition stakeholders, such as the international Food & Beverage Alliance (IFBA) to ensure that its products conform to the health standards set standards IFBA made with the World Health Organization. In essence, this enables the company to fabricate products that do not harm the consumers from a health perspective as shown in figure 4. In addition, the Ensemble Prévenonsl’Obésité Des Enfants (EPODE) is a body that helps combat obesity among the young (Coca-Cola’s Annual Report, 2015).

2.5 Production and Distribution Effectiveness

The production process entails the fabrication of concentrates and syrups, and then merchandises them to authorized canning and bottling parties that subsequently package and distribute the final product to the consumers. In addition, Coca-Cola has put in place measures that guarantee that the products are handled effectively via enacting and signing separate contracts and bottler agreements (Yadav et al, 2013). These contracts enable the company to govern how the bottler and distributors manufacture and sell its products (Gonzalez Ramirez et al, 2014). In essence, they have to ensure that the final products have the trademark and are packaged well. Also, Coca-Cola allows the bottlers to buy the syrups and concentrates from authorized suppliers. According to Yadav et al (2013), there are three types of bottlers, which are: independently owned bottlers where Coca-Cola has no interest; bottlers where Coca-Cola has invested but has no intention of controlling the ownership interest; and lastly, bottlers where Coca-Cola has invested in and enjoys a controlling interest in how they operate (Gonzalez Ramirez et al, 2014). As the authors assert, all these must sigh their respective contracts for the company to ensure that kits products are produced and distributed properly.

The distribution network is one of the oldest components of the company as it dates back to when the company was founded. In essence, the network has grown to be the backbone of the company’s success. Essentially, Coca-Cola and its bottling partners operate extensively and can be considered as the largest beverage distribution network globally. The bottling partners enable Coca-Cola to distribute its products to over 200 countries in all the six continents. These products are always shipped to institutions and businesses which include supermarkets, retail chains, small neighborhood grocers, colleges, school, entertainment and sport venues, as well as restaurants (Yadav et al, 2013). The most significant step that Coca-Cola is taking is to expand its presence in emerging markets. As such, the distributing network will play an important role in ensuring that the consumers receive the products conveniently in these markets, which include Africa, Asia, and Latin America. Distribution is a major effort as shown by figure.

2.6 Coca-Cola’s Risk Profile

The company ensures that for its products to reach consumers in the emerging markets, more distributors should be put in place. Ideally, this will increase the ability for the company to grow. For this reason, the company has to ensure that its distributors and suppliers acquire strategic business alliances with the local bottlers, thereby making infrastructure enhancements to the distribution networks, production facilities, as well as sales equipment and technology. In addition, the company should ensure that the demand and supply factors are under control (Yadav et al, 2013).

2.7 Workforce

Coca-Cola’s workforce can be considered as its greatest assets. The company incorporates elements of reward to ensure that the personnel are well motivated. They include a complete and comprehensive remuneration package along with benefits among other development and learning programs. The company recruits competent staff and does this aggressively while upholding an element of diversity to foster learning, value creation, as well as an advancement on a daily basis. In addition, the company develops its people so that they can achieve their full potential. In essence, this is an important component of the working relationship as it enhances fulfillment and commitment as the workers complete the tasks in the workplace. The company values the uniqueness of its employees to bolster stakeholders relationship (fig 4).


3.0 External Environment

Coca Cola is a popular household brand, which is common in almost all homes, shops, restaurants and offices. Indeed, the Coca cola Company has a wide variety soft drinks in its store. However, it is faced with various external factors that include political, economic, socio-cultural, technological, environmental, and legal factors (See Fig, 5 below). Still, this company has some strengths, weaknesses, threats, and opportunities.

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Factors That Affect Coca-Cola’s Market

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Environmental Factors

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Economic Factors

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Social Cultural Factors

Political Factors

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Legal and Technological Factors

Fig 5: External Factors That Affect Coca-Cola’s Market

3.1 Political factors

As shown by the figure above political factors are one thing that affects coca cola market. The recent political factor that Coca Cola Company has faced is the war between the U.S.A and Iraq. In effect, the war hugely caused a decrease in Coca cola products in the Middle East due to its recognition as an American company. Indeed, Muslims and the Middle East residents even stopped purchasing Coca cola products in honor of the Iraq citizens. For that matter, Coca Cola Company has faced an increase in tariffs that are not in any way related to their income in the main markets in which their products are selling but due to political factors. The taxes are sometimes referred to as indirect taxes and may include taxes on properties that Coca Cola Company owns. State and local governments may also impose taxes on beverages containing sugars in them and thus highly affect the Coca cola company revenue returns. Further, some states and local governments set indirect taxes to which the Coca cola Company operates causing it budget deficits. In most cases, local governments tax popular beverages as a way to raise revenue for their country which affects the business operations of the beverage companies. An increase in the indirect tariffs automatically enhances the cost of production and thus making Coca cola products less affordable in these regions.

3.2 Economic factors

Unfavorable economic factors are one of the major events that highly affect the performance of the Coca cola Company. Indeed, economic recessions and slowdowns highly affect the purchasing power of consumers in the markets where this company operates (see fig: 5). For instance, during economic recession consumer demand and affordability of Coca cola products tend to go down. Also, consumers reduce discretionary spending by forgoing Coca cola products and consuming cheaper beverages from other companies. In reality, consumption of alternative but cheaper beverages reduces profits of the company in markets faced by these difficult economic conditions which may in turn affect the whole financial performance of the Coca cola Company.

Moreover, foreign currency exchange rates fluctuations also adversely affect the Coca cola company’s financial results. Indeed, it conducts business activities in other regions that don’t use the U.S dollars as their currency. However, the Coca-cola Company has debts, assets, earn revenues, and settle expenses in countries that use Japanese Yen, Euros, and the Canadian dollars. Given that this company is highly diversified, devaluation in the currency of underdeveloped countries could result in low returns from assets invested in such countries. However, since it is almost in every part of the world, weaknesses in the currency of the underdeveloped countries may be offset by those of the developed countries over time. Also, financial statements of Coca Cola Company are drafted in U.S Dollars. Hence, all assets and debts, expenses and income must be converted to U.S dollars at the current exchange rate at the end of every financial year (Tripod, n.d). Therefore, a decrease or increase in the value of the U.S dollar compared to other major currencies affects the operating revenue in foreign currencies.

3.3 Socio-Cultural Factors

Recently, there has been an increasing concern among individuals, the government, and public health agencies over the health hazards that are brought about by obesity. Indeed, various researchers have shown that consumption of beverages containing sugars including those containing HCFC’s is one of the leading causes of Obesity. Also, various campaigns have been carried out to discourage consumers from consumption of such products so as to reduce chances of obesity. Consequently, Coca Cola has been greatly affected by this action since the government has considered taxing its products heavily to reduce consumption of its products (Karnani 2013). This action has led to decreased profits for Coca Cola.

Another social factor that has significantly affected this Company is that people are choosing to live a healthy lifestyle. Recently, Consumer preference has been changing drastically due to the creation of awareness about their health and nutrition. In reality, today’s consumer would prefer a bottle of water to that of Coke. People are less willing to purchase Coca cola products thus causing high losses in the company. Also, public debates have emerged concerning various ingredients in the Coca cola beverages that are health hazardous causing a reduction in demand for their products. It is an uphill task to remain for it to stay in the world consumer market.

3.4 Technological factors

However, the Coca cola Company has made various advancements in its technological performance in the past few years. It has heavily invested in advertising its products through different medias such as televisions and internet that makes its products look too much attractive and thus appealing to more consumers enticing more consumption. Indeed, online advertising and television are the greatest advertising channels for the Coca cola since they manage to reach a targeted market of youthful consumers. Indeed, this has helped the company’s increased sales tremendously in the recent past and thus enhanced profits. The company is doing everything possible to meet its set profit goal.

3.5 Environmental Factors

One of the environmental factors affecting the Coca cola Company is the scarcity of water. All the Coca cola company products rely on water for their production or water is the main ingredient for the manufacture of its products. Essential agricultural ingredients for the company also heavily rely on water, including the manufacturing process of packaging bottles. Water is a very scarce resource and faces resourceful challenges due to agricultural over-exploitation, pollution, climatic changes and poor management by water management authorities. As water demand increases around the world leading to its scarcity and also deterioration of its quality, the Coca cola Company has acquired capacity constraints and high production costs (Karnani 2013). Therefore, this situation has resulted in a decline in profits earned by the Coca cola Company as reliable and clean water has become expensive.

On the other hand, adverse weather conditions lead to a decrease in demand for Coca cola products. Research has shown that weather conditions highly influence sales of beverage products. In fact, during cold and rainy seasons there is a low demand for Coca cola products leading to few sales and thus causing a decrease in sales and profits. Also, changes in weather conditions in various parts of the world may result in a reduction in availability of basic agricultural commodities required for the production of its products. The key agricultural commodities include sugarcane, tea, coffee, sugar beets, corns and citrus and are very useful ingredients for the manufacture of Coca cola products. Also, climatic changes may lead to scarcity of water or the decline in water qualities in regions affected by this conditions leading to constrained water availability for bottlers bottling the Coca cola products.

3.6 Legal factors

The Coca Cola Company has also faced various legal factors in its operations. Indeed, the Company has been legally sued for practicing racial discrimination where it discriminated against the blacks and favored the white people. In April 1999, it faced charges of paying the black community very low salaries compared to their white counterparts. However, the black employees were scared to complain about the discrimination for the fear of losing their jobs. However, this information spread through various channels such as the internet, and Coca cola consumers were very disgusted by such racism (Karnani 2013). Due to this action of discrimination, some countries legally banned the sale of Coca cola products in them, and this stand led to the company losing its image and credibility among its consumers.

Another legal factor that affects the Coca cola company operations is changes in regulations concerning packaging and beverage containers. For instance, the United States, and other markets have established different legislation and regulations that some Eco-taxes should be charged with the marketing, distribution and sales of certain Coca cola containers. Eco-taxes has led to increased costs on the Coca cola products leading to reductions in demand for its products since it has to raise its prices so as to cover these extra expenses. Also, additional regulations have been made concerning the recycling of beverage containers in the United States and other parts of the world. Indeed, recycling of beverage containers has led to decreased costs and an increase in the demand for Coca cola products since the cost of producing these containers is reduced (Feloni 2015). Also, Changes in consumers attitude on solid wastes and increased environmental responsibilities has led to the recycling of beverage containers in the United States and also in overseas countries. Indeed, the recycling policy has served as an advantage to the company’s production cost and profits.

3.7 SWOT Analysis for Coca-Cola

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Loyal Customers


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Failure to diversify makes it face threats from competitors like Pepsi.


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Coca-Cola can venture in food processing to counter competition.

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Coca-Cola faces threat from Energy drink companies such as Red Bull, which are becoming popular among people.

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Fig 6: SWOT Analysis for Coca-Cola

3.7 a Strengths

Coca Cola faces a significant market share than all its competitors in the beverages industries worldwide. In essence, it only faces competition from Pepsi and it is evident that it wins over Pepsi by far. However, Coca Cola faces the benefit of Customer loyalty. Products such as Coke, Sprite, and Fanta have very loyal consumers, who will always prefer having these soft drinks than any other, thus, becoming unsubstitutable. Also, Coca Cola faces the advantage of a farfetched marketing strategy. Unlike Pepsi, it targets people of all ages while the former targets only the youth. This action leads to the company to having a wider market for its products. In reality, Coca cola is present in almost in over 200 countries all over the world. In nearly every country the chances are that there is a Coca cola product (Jurevicius 2016). Indeed, it has managed to reach the largest consumer global marketplace and to enjoy a high beverage market share.

3.7 b Weaknesses

Nevertheless, Coca cola faces a threatening competition from Pepsi. Indeed, it would be the leading beverage producer in the market was it not for Pepsi. Undoubtedly, there is a great competition between the two companies which might not come to an end soon. In the recent past, Coca cola has also been faced with management water issues. The Company uses huge amounts of water even in areas where it is scarce leading to them facing legal sanctions. Also, there have been accusations from concerned health bodies for adding pesticides in the water to extinguish contaminants. Therefore, the company production departments have been required to check its management of water processes very keenly. Also, Coca Cola Company has faced the weakness of failure to diversify their products. It does not have any other products besides beverages. However, other companies such as Pepsi have diversified in areas like snack segments which have led to an increase in their revenues. There is a need to diversify to remain strong in the competitive global market.

3.7 c Opportunities

The Coca Cola Company has the opportunity of diversifying its products. For sure, diversifying itself to other areas such as food business would make it more appealing to its customers. Also, diversification will increase its revenues earned from its customers all over the world. Indeed, Coca Cola has an opportunity of bringing its products to the developing countries. Currently, developed countries are changing their attitude towards consumption of Coca cola products and moving towards healthy beverages such as water (Jurevicius 2016). However, developing countries are not entirely used to consumption of carbonated drinks and hence Coca Cola should focus on them as a new market since they might increase their profits.

3.7 d Threats

Threats is another factor that Coca Cola Company faces from indirect competitors such as energy drinks such as Red bull or Gatorade. Such competitors are stealing the market share from the Coca Cola Company indirectly. Also, it faces other threats from coffee chains, which offer healthy beverages, compared to the carbonated drinks the company provides. Indeed, Coca Cola is to remain relevant in the modern healthy drinks competitive market; it has to look in alternatives and produce its energy drinks too. The modern consumer is aware of healthy living, and the consumer market is changing fast. Therefore, there is a need to change with time to avoid losing to new market entries in the beverage industry. The threat is real for the Coca Cola company


4.1 Impact of the External Economic Environment

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Economic Factors That Affect Coca-Cola Company

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Fluctuations in Energy and Fuel Prices

Fluctuation of foreign currencies

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Economic crisis

Fig 7: Economic Factors That Affect Coca-Cola Company

This section will focus on how the external economic environment affects the day-to-day activities of the Coca-Cola Company (see fig: 7). Each economic factor will be analyzed effectively, and changes that the company should make in its operations shall be outlined. Indeed, the changes will help the Coca-Cola Company face the challenges and shifts that are in the economic environment. However, the economic environment may affect the Company at all levels of its operations, including the quality and quantities it of products. Moreover, the external environment may influence the standard of qualification of the staff in the company and also the amounts of raw materials that are supplied to the Company. Some of the economic factors that will be dealt with in this section include Economic Crisis, Competition and the rising of new markets (Hartogh, n.d.).

4.2 Economic Crisis

Economic crisis is one of the major blow in the economic and financial performance of the Coca-Cola Company. Global economic crisis tends to reduce hugely profits it earns, especially in regions where this crisis are paramount. During times of economic recessions or slow down the affordability of Coca-Cola products reduces and consumers tend to shift their consumption to other cheaper beverages. This situation largely reduces profits earned and also it later affects the financial performance of the business. Therefore, it is clear that that such recession affect the profits gained which is beyond the working of the internal environment of the enterprise. However, actions such as employing more qualified personnel or increasing the level of output cannot offset economic crisis such as recessions and slowdowns (Anon, 2013).

Also, Coca-Cola has high credit ratings due to its popular brand and its effective operations all over the world. Indeed, it is highly favored by credit providing societies and banks since their lending are always guaranteed to be paid back from the huge earnings that the company earns in its areas of operations. However if these returns started to go down, or Coca-Cola started making losses, then its credit positions would also drop, and banks and credit societies would not be willing to lend them loans. Indeed, this action would reduce the monetary input for the company leading to a decrease in the quality and quantity of its products.

4.3 Taxes

Coca-Cola products are subjected to taxes in all its areas of operations since countries believe that they will earn a good amount of revenue due to it being a Multinational Company. Indeed, Coca-Cola is subject to both income taxes directly imposed on its revenues. Also, the company is subject to indirect taxes which are not directly imposed on the total revenue earned. An increase in income tax may indeed reduce the net income or income after tax from the affected regions in which the Company operates. Recently, there have been proposals to reform tax regulations in the United States, and this action could significantly influence how multinational companies will be taxed based on their foreign earnings. The passing of this law will have a great impact on the income tax expenses of the Coca-Cola Company and its final financial performance too. Indeed, this law will also greatly affect other multinational corporations operating globally (Coca-Cola’s Annual Report, 2015).

Further, indirect taxes imposed by the government in areas where the Coca-Cola company operates have significantly affected its net returns. The company operations are subjects to taxes not based on the level of income that they earn from their day to day activities. These are indirect taxes, and they include taxes such as value added taxes, excise taxes, and import duties, and indeed these taxes significantly affect their final income. Various governments where the Coca-Cola Company operates have set up taxes on beverages containing sugars or sugar-sweetened beverages and Coca-Cola is one of these Companies. Furthermore, Coca-Cola Company has been subjected to taxes based on property it owns or property and payroll taxes as well. Such taxes are mainly imposed by the state and local governments so as to solve the problem of budget deficits. However, an increase in the indirect taxes on the business operations has led to the rise in Coca-Cola products cost, hence making them more expensive and thus reducing their consumer demand (Senker and Foy, 2012). Due to this action consumers have considered consumption of less expensive products leading to the decline of Coca Colas net revenue.

4.5 Fluctuations in Energy and Fuel Prices in the Economy

The Coca-Cola Company and its associated bottlers have a significant number of tracks and motor vehicles that are used to distribute their beverage products to consumers. Also, the company uses huge levels of electricity, natural gases, and many other energy sources to manufacture their products especially in their controlled bottling plants all over the world. However, prices of these sources of energy and fuels have been fluctuating in the recent years, and their prices have been rising significantly due to their scarcity. Still, increase in prices or shortage of fuels and other energy sources in areas where the bottling plants of Coca-Cola operate may result from rising demand for these commodities in the economy. Also, various events such as natural disasters may increase the prices of fuels and other sources of energy. Certainly, increase in prices of fuels, electricity, natural gases and other sources of energy leads to an increase in operating costs of controlled Coca-Cola owned bottling plants thus leading to decreasing profits. Moreover, increase in prices of fuels, electricity, natural gases and other sources of energy in economies where the Coca-Cola company operates has spillover effects. An increase in prices of fuels in the main markets means that its operations could lead to an increase in operating costs of the company and bottling plants in other markets as well (Elmore, 2013).

4.6 Competition

Competition in the economy leads to healthy business activities undertakings and eliminates monopoly powers in the economy. Indeed, the non-alcoholic beverage industry in which Coca-Cola Company operates faces competition from other firms trading in the industry. Coca-Cola Company competes with other multinational corporations like itself, and other local companies as well. So far, the key competitor of the Coca-Cola Company is the Pepsi Company, which is also multinational operating in various geographical areas. Other major companies that Coca-Cola Company faces competition from include energy drink companies such as red bull, Unilever, Nestle, Groupe Danone, and DPSG. However, in some few markets, it faces competition from beer Companies (Coca-Cola’s Annual Report, 2015). Therefore, its capacity to maintain its market share may be hindered by these competitors indicated above. In essence, this shows that the Coca-Cola Company should continue being innovative and also increase their marketing strategies to maintain their significant market share and also their brand loyalty. Also, the Coca-Cola Company should work on expanding itself in producing other non-alcoholic beverages so as to maintain their market share in the beverage industry. Failure of it being innovative and increasing its capabilities of marketing may lead to market share loss to its competitors, which would negatively affect its operations.

4.7 Fluctuations in Foreign Currency Exchange Rates

Ups and downs in the currency exchange rates in the markets that Coca-Cola Company operates could have a huge effect on its financial performance. The Company operates in different markets which use different currencies such as the Euro, the Mexican Peso and the Japanese Yen. Moreover, it owns various assets and also has quite some liabilities in these regions. Also, it earns revenues and settles down its expenses in these countries using their currency more than the US. Dollars. However, Coca-Cola Company has to express all its earnings and expenditures at the end of every financial year into U.S. Dollars. Therefore, a change in U.S.Dollars or an increase or decrease in the U.S Dollar compared to other countries currency affects the Company’s income and revenues in foreign currencies. Also, devaluation of underdeveloped countries currencies may lead to the creation of losses in those markets due to negative earnings from assets invested in those areas. However since Coca-Cola has geographically diversified its markets, weaknesses in the currencies of some regions might be offset by stable or strong currencies in other areas over a given period. To deal with the problem of fluctuating currency exchange rates, Coca-Cola Company has tried to use derivatives as some of their financial instruments so as to reduce their exposure to this issue (Coca-Cola’s Annual Report, 2015)


5.1 Impact of the Company on the External Economic Environment

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Poverty alleviation

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Creation of New technology

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Revenue Creation

Fig 8: How Coca-Cola Impacts External Economic Environment

This section will show how the Coca-Cola Company has influenced the external economic environment (Brief on fig: 8). The section will fully outline the impact of the operations, products and services of the company on the external economic climate. Moreover, it will show the influence of the Coca-Colas Company products, services, technology, mechanisms, and processes that directly or indirectly affects customers, competitors, and the external economic environment. All these factors will be fully analyzed in a logical manner under a causal-effect relationship strategy. This section will explain how the Coca-Cola Company has positively or negatively influenced the external environment through its products, services, and operations.

5.2 Technological Changes

Coca-Cola Company has highly utilized technology as a way of coming up with various innovation that other companies should learn from including its competitors. Indeed, as a multinational company, it frequently involves itself in advertising, rebranding and presenting its services and products to maintain their significant market share. Indeed, the Coca-Cola company has highly participated in social networking by fully making use of the internet, and it has also been involved in the green movement so as to maintain and improve its brand.

Through the innovation of greener bottles and packaging in the year 2009, Coca-Cola Company has been producing its products using less petroleum (Foster, 2014). In essence, this action became very successful that other companies such as Heinz decided to use greener packaging for their products too. Moreover, this greener packaging movement has continued to grow as Coca-Cola products are shipped worldwide yearly.

Elsewhere, Coca-Cola Company has been using social networking to advertise and maintain its brand in the market. Coca-Cola uses various social networking sites such as Facebook and twitter where it has a big number of fans who can view its newest products and also interact with them. Indeed, the use of social networks such as Facebook and twitter enables a brand to stay youthful, fresh and contemporary. For sure, the involvement of the Coca-Cola Company in social networking has also harnessed its competitors to do so.

Coca-Cola has also significantly involved itself with online advertising by using muted but effective online programs that make consumers demand its products. Indeed, Coca-Cola conducts targeted advertisements on the internet implying that it has a vast dominance over who sees their advertisements and the time they see them. An example of an online coke advertisement is when one is searching for a local beach on the internet, and an advertisement for Coca-Cola products comes up, thus connecting heat with the Coca-Cola product.

5.3 Source of Revenue

Coca-Cola being a multinational company has proved to be a source of revenue in many countries globally. Coca-Cola company faces taxes on income earned from its operations in its areas of jurisdiction in income tax. Also, Coca-Cola faces indirect taxes that are not related to the revenue that the company earns from its areas of competence. The indirect taxes may be categorized as value added taxes, excise duties, and import duties. The indirect taxes may be levied on properties that Coca-Cola owns in its geographical areas of operations, or they may be charged to prohibit consumers consumption of their products. In fact, state and local authorities government in areas where Coca-Cola operates earns revenue that they later use to foster economic growth and development in their economy. Revenues earned from Coca-Cola products are also used by the local government and state government to offset their budget deficits and to enhance a stable economy in their countries.

5.4 Source of Employment

Due to Coca-Cola company being highly geographically diversified, it has contributed to economic growth of even the most marginalized communities globally. Indeed, it operates in over 200 countries around the world and therefore becomes a significant source of employment globally (Cortés, 2012). Without a doubt, Coca Cola’s manufacturing and distribution activities takes place at the local level and therefore generate a significant level of employment in their local territories. Also, truck drivers that transport the Coca Cola’s commodities to their destinations are picked from the local communities and personnel working at the Coca Cola controlled bottlers are employed from the local community. Therefore, it is a major source of employment in all its operational regions.

Moreover, studies have shown that each job in the Coca-Cola Company reinforces another ten jobs in Coca Cola’s value chain, this includes, the distributors, suppliers, and customers (Anon, 2015). Indeed, Coca Cola’s ingredients and raw materials are obtained from local sources and thereby generating more employment to the local people in its areas of jurisdiction. Also, Coca-Colas bottling Associates employ many individuals globally, thus committing to providing a hand in investments programs of the community. Still, Coca-Cola Company has many customers all over the world who sell the beverages to its clients. These customers include the vendors, kiosks, retailers, theaters and convenience stores. Certainly, this small business acts as a backbone of Coca Colas business, and its system assists the small kiosk owners and vendors in establishing their business. In fact, this clearly shows proves that Coca-Cola has highly contributed to the creation of employment in its areas of jurisdiction.

5.5 Alleviation of Poverty

In reality, Coca-Cola Company has been in the front line in alleviating poverty especially in the emerging countries where poverty is a major disaster facing them. Indeed, the Coca-Cola Company highly support investment programs being undertaken various societies to improve their quality of life. Coca-Cola Company also provides necessary infrastructures to the poor communities such as playgrounds, clean water, and sanitation. Without a doubt, it has highly involved itself in the Haiti economy which is one of the poorest countries in the world and has helped provide essential basic commodities to its residents. Therefore, Coca-Cola has considerably contributed to the economic recovery of Haiti since the huge earthquake (Collier, 2014).

Notably, Coca-Cola has also created a long-term development plan in Haiti by assisting in the construction of a sustainable mango juice production industry. Indeed, it made a resolute to donate 100 percent of its profits gained from the mango juice industry to the Haitian residents to alleviate poverty in this region. Moreover, this project would create a significant level of employment to the residents of Haiti, increasing their level of income, and thereby raising the standards of living of the farmers. This action would help alleviate poverty in the citizens of Haiti through consumers buying the mango juice product from Haiti and also donations from various non-governmental organizations.

Additionally, Coca-Cola company has helped in the alleviation of poverty in the Haitian community through raising awareness of HIV/AIDS through HIV/AIDS education. It usually channels this education through various means such as education in schools, through social or community activities, and mass media. Coca-Cola also through its controlled bottlers has funded many cultural and sporting errands in Haiti (Wang 2015). Indeed, the Coca-Cola bottlers in Haiti known as Brasserie de la Couronne significantly supports education and hospitals in the region. In fact, various promotions enable its consumers contribute to funding scholarships and also purchase necessary school stationeries and supplies in several provinces in Haiti. Indeed, these actions show that Coca-Cola is not only focused on making profits but is also involved in providing social benefits to its customers.

5.6 Health Hazards to its Consumers

Nevertheless, Coca-Cola products have been linked to having effects on the health of its consumers. Recently, there has been an increasing focus by public health officers, the government, and consumers on obesity and health complications. Additionally, various health researchers have indicated that obesity is caused by consumption of beverages containing sugars like the Coca-Cola products. Moreover, these agencies are encouraging consumers to deviate from consumption of these beverages by creating awareness through education on effects of obesity. Also, its products have been accused of adding pesticides to eliminate contaminants in the water they use for manufacturing purposes. Indeed, these pesticides are believed to be one of the leading causes of cancer and thereby making Coca-Cola products very harmful for consumption. People are hence switching to healthier beverages such as water and caffeine to avoid contracting such dangerous diseases. Therefore, Coca-Cola company products have various effects on their consumers and also on the external economic environment (Burgess, Kriegel, and Koros, 2015).

6.0 Conclusion

As seen in the above case study, Coca-Cola company owes its success to a well thought out internal organization and a strategic relationship with the external environment. A strong working relationship with the organization ensures efficient functioning of the company and thus boosts the company’s profitability. Considering that Coca-Cola company is an international corporation, we cannot fail to admire how it has laid out its distribution plan. Coca Cola’s success is dependent on a management strategy that insists on ethics. These high principles have ensured workers do not leak the company’s internal secrets. One of Coca Cola’s inner secret is the preparation procedure adopted in making the company’s beverages. The safeguarding of this secret has ensured Coca-Cola beverages are of a unique taste, something that the companies marketing department never fails to mention.

External factors that affect Coca-Cola Company include political, economic, social-cultural, technological, environmental, and legal factors. As known from the popular Porter’s Five Forces analysis, we find that bargaining power of suppliers, bargaining power of buyers, the threat of substitute products and competitive forces within the industry are the major factors that affect a firm. Political reasons have at times increased the risk of Coca-Cola being overtaken by substitute products in some countries. A common example is the impact of the USA war on Iraq that reduced the uptake of Coca-Cola products in Middle East countries. Economic factors often influence Coca Cola’s earning considering the constant fluctuations of currencies world over. A global concern over weight gain has also led to a reduction beverage uptakes and thus again putting Coca-Cola on a receiving end. The company has also received criticism by racism leading it into devastating coat battles.

Away from the external factors that affect Coca-Cola, we find that Coca-Cola has had a great impact on the external environment. One factor of importance is the creation of employment. Coca-Cola has created jobs in all the countries it operates globally. We find that the company ensures efficient operation by employing massive amounts of workers. Directly, Coca-Cola employs people to work in bottling and distribution firms. On the other hand, it provides jobs indirectly to the suppliers of raw materials and sellers of the finished products. We may not overlook the impact that Coca-Cola has in the society as it also focuses on talent nurturing. One of this ways is by promoting sports such as football and performing artists in shows like the Coca-Cola Live Studio. A combination of these factors results in poverty alienation and consequently crime control.

Coca-Cola has its strength in that it markets its products as whole family products unlike its competitors (read Pepsi) who advertise themselves as youth products. This strategy has enabled Coca-Cola to enjoy massive loyal customers across all ages. Coca Cola’s main weakness comes in the lack of diversification, the fact that the company specializes only in beverage production. The company should open up to other food-related business to ensure its future in case beverage consumption rates drops due to one case or another. The company faces a threat from new entrants and diversification is the key to combating this threat. In conclusion, Coca-Cola is a business model of success, and it teaches us that avid management combined with a large marketing is a fail proof path to success.


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